Thursday, April 29, 2010

Waimea Falls

This Monday we went to Waimea Falls Park. It's one of those touristy things to do on the Island. We did it soon after we first moved here and then i've been once more with some visitors. It's one of the only easy to get to waterfalls on Oahu, too bad you have to pay to get to it!

On the hike to the waterfall...i should really call it a "walk" considering the trail is paved...there are lots of beautiful Hawaiian trees and plants to look and even some awesome peacocks roaming around showing off their beautiful feathers. This valley was a spiritual center for the ancient Hawaiians, and it's understandable with all its beauty.

For a few years the valley used to be an adventure park...you could jump off the top of the waterfall, kayak, horseback ride, and take other cool tours. Now it's just a botanical garden, there to preserve some of the natural Hawaiian plants and birds. You can still swim in the waterfall though--although we did not try and do that this time.

Some of you may be interested in knowing that this waterfall has been used for some scenes in LOST. In the first season this was the waterfall that Kate and Sawyer found the briefcase in and then again, in the third season the couple with the bag of diamonds had some shots filmed at this waterfall.

Here's a few pics of the day. Holden was super tired so we didn't take him to the water, but i did take Nora down to the edge to put her feet in. Strange enough, a lifeguard came after me and tried to make me put a lifevest on her. I mean, we were both fully clothed and obviously not going very far. I looked at him like he was crazy..do they even make lifevests for 12 lb. babies? Ha.









Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Finding Our Balance

If you don't already know, either through personal experience, or through observation...Babies really do rock your world.

I mean this really isn't a novel revelation or anything--in no way did we assume that after having the twins our life would be just as it was before. If anything we haven't had any expectations of what life would be like as parents--we're just kinda playing it on the fly right now and learning as we go.

Now we are 5 months in--so far so good. These past few months have been solely devoted to taking care of our newborns. Ya know, feeding, diapering, figuring out sleep, getting routines in place, etc. Not that we are experts after 5 months, but I do think we've got a good handle on things.

So I guess you could say if our pregnancy journey had a TO-DO List, it would look a little something like this...
Step 1: Get pregnant--CHECK
Step 2: Have baby (or babies)--CHECK
Step 3: Come home, learn those babies and get through the first few weeks--CHECK
Step 4: Establish a routine--CHECK
Step 5: Insert our "old selves" into our new lives --IN PROGRESS

If you haven't noticed from our blogs recently we are starting to venture out a little bit more and do some of the things we used to do--pre kids. As I said above when we found out we were having twins any expectations i may have had about having children went away--i really had no idea what to expect other than just knowing that we'd handle whatever would come. I always had thought we'd have a baby spend a few weeks getting adjusted and then just strap 'em on (i have always imagined i'd be a babywearing mommy) and just keep on doing what we do. You may think that idea was a bit idealistic, but i've seen plenty of families do it.

So anyway the twins came and feedings seemed to take up about a third of my day alone (literally i was feeding at least 8 hours) and then there was diapers, laundry, baths, keeping the house in some sort of order, trying to get the babies to sleep, and trying to get some sleep ourselves. Leaving the house to do ANYTHING just really didn't seem worth it--especially when i went in somewhere only to have both babies start crying and everyone looking at me funny.

When Mike left for Cali the babies were still so small, but since he has returned they have changed so much. They are so much more aware now and can handle longer periods of awake times. Other things are starting to catch their attention and keep them entertained. Most of all it seems that we can just look at their faces and watch them learning and soaking everything in. It's really quite amazing. So along with the babies growing and changing, we are learning how to take them out and do some of the things we used to like to do. We've made a few beach trips recently, and this past weekend we went on a small hike to a waterfall. We've also eaten out at restaurants, stayed for lunch after church on Sundays and i've met up with some friends for the day.

Mike being home has made the biggest difference. Knowing we don't have a lot of time left before he leaves has made us really get out and do stuff. It's also easier with him home simply because we aren't outnumbered by babies--and even with the extra set of hands it can still be hard, but at least with Mike, he's the dad..the babies are as much his responsibility as mine so i don't feel like i am inconveniencing him or bothering him when we are out. And most importantly everything is just more fun with him home. I love our family--i love getting out and doing things as a family and i wish it could always be like this.

Not only are we finding new things to do as a family we are each finding our way doing some things as individuals and as a couple again. Mike has started back up with his bike riding and is taking some time to do a few guy things with friends. I am also taking some "mommy time" --going shopping, bunco nights with the FRG girls, and i'm hoping to fit in a pedicure soon! Together, thanks to some great friends and family, we have had a couple of date nights and specifically we went our battalion luau this past weekend. It's so important to have time for each other too!

Being parents is absolutely wonderful--really it's everything i could have ever wished for, but it's exhausting and sometimes you walk by a mirror and look at yourself and you think "is that really me with that greasy hair, those baggy eyes, and spit up stains all over your clothes?" This past few weeks, getting out of the house, dressing up, doing fun things as a family and then also having time to myself has been so great. I feel like me again, but a better version--the "mommy version".

So I guess that's it for now ~our quest for finding balance in our lives~ Trying to be both 'involved new parents' while trying not to lose out on the activities that we used to do and the interests that we used to have...the things that make us who we are.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Movie Monday

Singing in the Car
(yeah the camera angle is terrible...i was filming blind from the front seat)
video

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Ice Cream Dinner

Growing up, at my old church we used to have an 'ice cream dinner' each summer. The main event of course would be ice-cream....but the homemade kind, not store bought. Everyone would make their own ice cream--all different kinds of flavors and the makers would be lined up on tables in rows and you could just go down the row, like in a buffet and fill your bowl (or bowls, if you so needed) with as much ice cream as you could handle. Of course they served hot dogs at this event too, and i do love a good hot dog, but even hot dogs couldn't hold a candle to the level of awesomeness of the ice cream. Oh this was my most favorite thing. Homemade ice cream is still one of my all-time favorite foods--and it's a food that i RARELY get to have.

sidenote: i could use an ice cream maker if anyone wants to donate one to me--not these new fakey kinds, but the old--mix the cream, fill the contraption up with ice and let it loudly churn for hours kind of ice cream maker. I love kitchen aid and all, but they have nothing on the old ice cream makers.

Anyway, although not the same at all (we do the best we can!) Saturday night I convinced Mike that we should have ice cream for dinner. Since it was like 7:00 and we had no plans for dinner and we had a Cold Stone gift card burning a whole in our pocket, it really didn't take much convincing. So we broke our cardinal rule of "never mess up the babies bedtime" and packed everyone up to drive to the nearest Cold Stone for dinner. Mike had the 'Founders Favorite', full of chocolate and peanut butter, and I had a cheesecake concoction with strawberries and cherries. While we ate our oh-so yummy dinner, the babies just sat in their strollers staring at us. We may have even teased them a little just for kicks and giggles (and pictures of course). Kinda mean huh?


Don't worry i told them all about how yummy ice cream is and how one day we would all come back as a family and they could have their own ice cream too--but i would probably make them eat they're veggies first, or at the very least a hot dog! I don't think giving children ice cream for dinner really qualifies as "good parenting" but then it probably doesn't qualify as a good personal choice either, but oh well. Gotta live a little, yeah?


seems like they could care less at this point
teasing Holden...Nora is reaching for it...i better watch out, she's gonna love ice cream like her mommy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy 4 Years!

About this time today, 4 years ago, i was getting ready to marry my best friend and the sweetest guy i know. It was a great day, and its been an even better 4 years. I don't think either one of us could have ever predicted that in 4 years our life would be like it is now. But I love our family and am thankful for everyday i have with them. Mike you are a great husband and father and I love you so much!

I don't have quick access to my wedding pics at the moment, but i did find some fun ones from our engagement! Enjoy!

the proposal... well the second time, discovery cove wouldn't allow mike to take the ring in the water with the dolphins--so he did it again on the beach!


this was my yes...
and here's my favorite dolphin in the whole wide world...Cindy!



Hey Dad!

this is for you,

So, this morning i brought the babies downstairs and put them down on a blanket on the floor. They are always so sweet and cute first thing in the morning and were both looking up at me with these cute smiles and SUPER blue eyes.

to which i said, "well hello blue eyes"

and then i said, "hey that reminds me of a song"

AND THEN, (you guessed it) i broke out into song, singing
"BLUUUUUUE EYYYYYYYES, you're all that i need
BLUUUUUUE EYYYYYYYES, you're the sweet to my mean..."

(a Cary Brothers song that some of my Garden State fans out there may remember)

but anyway, just wondering to myself if in a couple of years my babies will complain about my singing the way i do you?

i guess we'll see!

Pretty Days, New Friends

This Monday we went back to the beach to try it again. This time we met up with some new friends. Jenny, Jason and their 10 mo. old son, Caedmon, just arrived on island 2 weeks ago. We all had fun and the babies spent a lot more time in the water and best of all was NO CRYING!
Here's Holden trying out "the float" i just think he couldn't be cuter than when he's in his beach outfit...and the paci clipped to his head really tops off the outfit (notice it in all the other pics!)

just swimming around

the boys...



Caedmon was really interested in Holden's shades

Nora needed a little nap while we were there, so mommy sat at the waters edge and held her...
a sunbathing queen! of course we had her lathered in 50 SPF

i finally convinced her that the water was better than a nap...she's thinking about it

"look at me!" standing in the sand and water

two cool babies just hanging out on the beach!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Movie Monday

this weekend, after much anticipation, finally we got a...
LOL!!!!!
(emphasis on the OUT LOUD)


Norabird giggles
video
video

Holden giggles for a second in the beginning, the rest is just for cute smiles--sorry about how dark it is--we have limited light at nighttime in our bedrooms!

video

Sunday, April 18, 2010

We're So Glad...

Our Daddy's HOME!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Mommyism

Can I please be allowed a minute of your time to be an "irrational and over-emotional" mother?

Thanks.

Okay. My babies are growing. Which is great and normal and all the things we mothers want for our kids. Except for the fact that as I am cleaning out their closet of newborn clothes and replacing it with the 6 month clothing I find myself super sad, contemplating about the day when my babies will no longer want to be hugged and kissed and held anymore--at least not by me. That kinda breaks my heart. Or at least makes me consider just for a second locking them up in their rooms for the rest of their lives so they can't leave me. Just kidding. (i guess)

And also, no matter how little of storage room we have in the house, in no way am i emotionally ready to rid of these clothes (at least the cutest ones). There are memories attached to them. Like what they wore on their first Christmas and that onesie that made Holden's blue eyes pop. Thankfully i have a smart husband who has chosen to "NOT" fight this battle with me. Instead he offered up a place in the house that i can put these "too little" but still very meaningful clothes. Good job Mike.

Ok, that's all. I appreciate your time. I also appreciate your sensitivity in my quite-possibly unreasonable thinking.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Discovery

Ever wonder why your mom always talks to herself??

well, let me answer that question for you.

It's a habit she most likely picked up as a new mother while trying to calm her baby. I found myself this morning talking to my babies (who were already in carseats) in loud silly voices while i was running around the house trying to get everything together so we could leave the house. I find that as long as i am being animated and silly enough they are distracted and not crying. Similarly, in public I will do the same thing, just on a more discreet scale. Like yesterday in the commissary, i told Nora all about everything we were buying and about all the kids there that she should (and should not) act like. Basically, as long as i was talking...she was quiet.

I can see where this may be a hard habit to break. Once my babies are gone I will inevitably be the mom talking to myself while washing the dishes or driving in her car while her teenagers are rolling their eyes at me. Oh well.

Sorry mom for making fun of you all of these years!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Family Adventure Day

We had another great day today--actually it's been a super weekend. A little piece of joy in all this deployment preparation are the 4 day weekends that we will have every weekend up until he leaves.

Having Mike home has been great. The babies really have changed everything. The 2 months that he was gone would have been a nuisance but still a breeze without the babies--but with the babies it was sad. They changed so much in those 8 weeks--it makes me not want to even think about how much time we'll miss as a family during this deployment. Now that Mike is home i appreciate our time together so much more. I just drink in all the moments we're together and i love watching him with the twins. They are lucky to have such a sweet, loving and involved daddy.

I don't want to be sad here though--i want to focus on all the good. And there really has been A LOT of good. The babies are at a fun age--little by little we are finally starting to get back out and do some of the things that we used to. Granted its all much different now! The beach is no longer for lounging around and getting a tan--but about family time--playing and making new discoveries.

Today we went to Ko Olina Beach Resort to spend some time at their lagoons. The lagoons are man-made and very pool-like...a great place for the babies to take their first ocean swim! Also a good thing about the lagoons is the grass. I'm all for sand--i mean it's part of the beach experience--but i can do without it with the babies. So we set up our blankets on the grass under two beautiful palms for some shade. The weather was slightly overcast with moments of sun and there was a good amount of wind--a very comfortable day to be outside. We brought their new bouncer chairs--and they were great for the babies to sit in and watch their surroundings and take little cat naps. Personally I'd like to have a bouncer seat my size!

During one of the sunny patches we took the babies down to the water for their first "dip". It actually wasn't too cold, although from the pics it probably looks like we are torturing them. We didn't keep them in long--about 5 minutes each. Nora was doing her usual crazy bird-like scream that had everyone within a 100 ft. radius staring at us--so i thought it would be best to cut our first swim short in fear of CPS coming for us. Holden on the other hand started to get used to the water and calmed down after the initial shock, i was really quite surprised he did so well.
Daddy and Nora...before the "dip"
and the torture begins

"i can't believe you're making me do this"

Holden alone on the big beach

she's not too happy with either of us

Mommy and Holden --before!

preparing for the dip...Mommy is assuring him that everything will be fine

he did not agree!
again

calming baby down

not too sure about this ocean stuff

family picture
After the beach, we had lunch at a restaurant that overlooks the lagoon. Again...Mike and I were venturing out beyond our comfort zone--hoping the babies would be good. And miraculously they were. I'm sure it had something to do with wearing them out from all the crying at the beach, but Holden slept in my arms the entire time we ate and even more amazing is the fact the Nora hung out in her car seat the whole time, mostly looking around and sucking on her paci. Everyone commented on how calm and chill she was. I just had to laugh!

After the long day at the beach, Holden was so tuckered out, he could barely stay awake on the walk back to the car....
here he is "cold-kickin' it"



Mike's already said we're going back next weekend. Maybe we'll try another beach! But for now, babies are all in bed and Mommy and Daddy need some sleep too! Goodnight!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Movie Monday

well, i've had some problems uploading videos today.

sorry it's late.

check out our new toy!

video video

Sunday, April 11, 2010

a day that'll stick!

It has been a fantastic day--really. We woke up this morning to a beautiful day, sun shining, wind blowing and it just couldn't be wasted.

So we introduced the babies to our very favorite place. The beach.

We're not quite to the stage of sitting down and relaxing/playing there yet--BUT we let them feel the sand beneath their toes, the water on their legs, and then we strapped them on and took them for a walk and picked up pieces of coral.
They did great while there--the sun tired them out of course, so we took them home and put them down for a long nap. When they woke up they still smelled of sunscreen and the rest of the night when i held them i could close my eyes, smell them and remember the great day we had. Like Mike said driving home, "this is one of those days that will stick".


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Cloth Diapers 102: gDiapers

Oh gDiapers---the diaper i really WANT to love... but i just CAN'T
There are some really great things about these diapers, i'll go ahead and get them out of the way.

1. It's a great concept--the first well-known "hybrid" diaper. (this means that you can use it as both a disposable diaper when out and about, and then use it as a cloth diaper when you are home.)
2. Unlike some cloth diaper choices, g diapers are becoming easier to find. Places like Walmart and BabiesRUs are now carrying them.
3. They are oh so cute. They come in a multitude of great colors, some prints and even some ruffle butts for girls.
4. gDipes are super trim--out of all cloth diapers, i think they fit the most like disposables.

So all of this sounds great i know, i just can't seem to get the gdiaper system to work for us.

This is how it works.
There is a cloth diaper cover. This is the outer part that can come in many different colors and prints. It has velcro closures similar to disposables, the only difference is that they fasten to the back instead of the front.

Inside the cover there are 4 snaps to which you attach a small plastic liner..this liner is the most important part of the diaper, because it is waterproof and is what prevents leaks.

Inside the liner you can either stuff it with a cloth insert or a disposable insert.

-gCloth inserts are made of hemp, which is known for its super absorbency and then topped with a microfleece layer so that the baby will feel dry on their bum.

-Disposable inserts are 100% biodegradable and you have 3 options to dispose of them--either 1. flush 2. compost 3. toss. They are also, chlorine-free, plastic-free, latex-free and perfume-free.

Here's my qualms.
1. There are quite a few more steps involved in the gDiaper system than other cloth diapering options. I had to be very organized and prepared when using these. Have all the parts available, clean and stuffed ahead of time so that i was scrambling around putting them together while a naked baby bum was making a mess all over the place!
2. The cover is cotton. Most cloth diaper covers are mad e of a waterproof material, like PUL so that in the even of a leak, there is an extra barrier between the mess and the baby (or YOU). These are just cotton, so when there is a mess, everything gets soiled!
3. The liners. They aren't all they are cracked up to be. Apparently they are only guaranteed to last a few months, and although they are cheap ($2) a liner, you can only get them on the website so you better think ahead and buy a bunch so as not to incur crazy shipping costs. Also, they can not put in the dryer, so you have to fish them out of the laundry after they are done being washed. But worst of all, if they get poop on them, which inevitably they will--because they are after all a DIAPER--any mother would feel the need to clean it off--at least I did. BUT you CAN NOT pull at the elastic too hard and stretch it out because the "seal can be broken" and the diaper will no longer be effective...ie--IT WILL LEAK.

And this is wherein my problems lie. These diapers worked well for about 2 weeks--but after some use and cleaning i started noticing more and more leaks. So i did a LOT of reading and research trying to figure out what i was doing wrong. I could never come up with any clear answers. My guess is i messed up the liners by cleaning out the poop, but i absolutely can't apologize for trying to get the poop off.
Thing is, maybe if i had stuck with the diaper i could have figured it out. But i have twins, there's a lot going on in my house ALL THE TIME. I'm not looking to make things more difficult and after a week of having to change both the diaper and the clothes every time a baby pooped or peed, i just decided to cut my losses with this diaper and stick with what works.
Admittedly, i feel a little defeated by this diaper. But, there are plenty more diapers that have been great for us, gDiapers just obviously isn't the system for us.